The THRIVE Podcast for Women Entrepreneurs is all about supporting YOU to start and build a thriving business. On THRIVE, we connect you with leading experts, entrepreneurs, and organizations that provide capital, mentorship, training, tools and other support to help you to make your vision reality, faster.

The THRIVE podcast is a production of Startup Canada, Canada’s entrepreneurship organization, supporting Canada’s entrepreneurs to succeed. This podcast is presented in partnership with the Business Development Bank of Canada and Scotiabank.

Latest Episode

Strategic Communications With Style with Jennifer Stewart – May 28th 2020

Sometimes talking the talk is just as important as walking the walk, and Jennifer Stewart knows how to do both!

Jennifer Stewart is the founder and owner of Syntax Strategic, a leading communications, media and public affairs firm based in Ottawa. She has been named one of the top 25 people in the nation’s capital by Ottawa Life magazine, top 40 under forty by the Ottawa Business Journal and has been a finalist for Ottawa’s female entrepreneur of the year. 

She is also a regular communications commentator on CTV and CBC. Committed to empowering women in their careers and personal lives, Jennifer employs 10 female employees at Syntax, and is committed to doing work differently. Along this vein, she is a founding member of the 21st Century Workplace Initiative, which brings together a group of business leaders to truly impact the workplace and introduce and reinforce practices that create a truly equal and equitable professional environment.

“If you have that business idea, make the leap, try it out, ask for support, seek mentors, but now is the time.”

On this week’s THRIVE Podcast, sponsored by the Business Development Bank of Canada and Scotiabank, Jennifer talks about trusting your entrepreneurial instinct and putting it to words that work for you.

Recently Aired Episodes

Women Entrepreneurs, Now and Next with Nancy Wilson – May 21st 2020

Being an entrepreneur is hard enough, especially without systemic barriers. But good thing women entrepreneurs have Nancy Wilson in their corner!

Nancy Wilson is the founder and CEO of the Canadian Women’s Chamber of Commerce (CanWCC), a national, not-for-profit organization that advocates for women-identified business

owners in Canada. Nancy is a Chartered Professional Accountant, with over a decade of accounting and finance experience in the private sector. Prior to CanWCC, she ran an accounting and advisory firm specializing in women business owners and entrepreneurs.

After experiencing a lack of resources, difficulty finding connection, and numerous barriers, both as a business owner and indirectly through her clients, Nancy launched the Canadian Women’s Chamber of Commerce in January 2018.

“When I had my first taste of running my own business and saw a lot of the gender issues I had faced working in corporate roles echoed back to me by my clients, I knew something bigger had to change.”

On this week’s THRIVE Podcast, sponsored by the Business Development Bank of Canada and Scotiabank, Nancy talks about breaking through barriers to help all entrepreneurs reach their full potential.

The Art of Disruption with Kim Hendi – May 14th 2020

It’s easy to get into a cognitive rut as an entrepreneur, but if you’re looking to bump yourself out Kim Hendi, the founder, CEO and Senior Coach of Disruptive Art, wants to talk!

Kim’s broad experience in digital adoption, ICT program and policies, digital adoption, intellectual property literacy has been instrumental in empowering women and youth; engaging multi-stakeholders, and promoting creativity and innovation of individuals and teams with ™ sessions that combine mindfulness, art and science.

In her previous position as Senior Officer, Partnership Development with Canada’s Ministry of Innovation, Science, and Economic Development (ISED) Kim promoted intellectual property (IP) literacy to support SMEs and innovators. She continues to contribute expertise to multi-stakeholder task forces on the Internet of Things (IoT) and blockchain.

Previously Dr. Hendi led the transfer of Connectivity policies and programs to the Americas and conducted research on the digital economy, green technologies, e-Health, skills development, Internet policies and international development.

“Not all artists are entrepreneurs. But all entrepreneurs are artists.”

On this week’s THRIVE Podcast, sponsored by the Business Development Bank of Canada and Scotiabank, Kim talks about how to maintain balance in your brain, as well as promote creativity. 

Following Your Intuition with Fiona Gilligan – May 7th 2020

When there’s a lot of outside noise, sometimes the best thing you can do is listen to your inside voice – just ask Fiona Gilligan.

Fiona is a trauma specialist, author and female founder. She’s the former founder CEO of the trauma Management Group TMG, the industry leading company in Canada, which dealt with the aftermath of the World Trade Center attacks, the Dawson college shootings and the SARS breakout. In 2002. She authored one of Canada’s first critical incident group crisis training programs called the critical incident stress management from theory to practice that is still widely used for training purposes. 

Her career started over 20 years ago with a BA in psychology and a Master’s of social work. Since the sale of the trauma management group in 2007. She has continued to specialize in clinical intervention, training and organizational development with military, veterans and emergency medical services to effectively respond to mental health issues within the workplace. She’s also a social entrepreneur and female founder who actively gives her time to various ecosystems to encourage entry and growth.

“Women can very quickly push away from their intuitive voice. I say trust that voice and know it’s there to help you pivot, grow, and become resilient.”

On this week’s THRIVE Podcast, sponsored by the Business Development Bank of Canada and Scotiabank, Fiona talks about trusting yourself to be your own best advice.

Creating Impact With Entrepreneurship with Sally Ng – April 30th 2020

What’s the difference between something that’s good and something that’s perfect? The thing that’s good is the one that gets finished, as Sally Ng will tell you.

Sally has been around the startup community for quite a few years, in the past, she has launched several entrepreneurship centers in Atlantic Canada and run multiple accelerator programs for tech, women and Indigenous entrepreneurs. She’s a global facilitator with Techstars Startup Weekend and has traveled the world facilitating events. She serves on the board of Community Foundations of Canada and is also passionate about the social enterprise space. 

“Don’t overthink it. Have the next steps, but it doesn’t have to be perfect – there’s no perfect textbook or roadmap to be an entrepreneur.”

On this week’s THRIVE Podcast, sponsored by the Business Development Bank of Canada and Scotiabank, Sally talks about finding your way to success and maximizing impact at every level.

Connecting Women With Supply Chains with Stephanie Fontaine – April 23rd 2020

It’s easy to feel alone as an entrepreneur, but Stephanie Fontaine wants you to know you aren’t.

Stephanie Fontaine is the Country Director for WEConnect International in Canada. A well-known leader in the supplier diversity community, Stephanie has spent the last 7 years working closely with entrepreneurs, corporations, not for profit organizations and government to increase procurement opportunities for diverse suppliers. As a business owner herself, Stephanie knows the importance a small gesture of support can make and she has long been committed to empowering entrepreneurs through sharing of knowledge and connections.

“Realize that you are not alone on your entrepreneurship journey. There are so many resources out there, but you have to ask and align with resources that work for your business strategy.”

On this week’s THRIVE Podcast, sponsored by the Business Development Bank of Canada and Scotiabank, Stephanie talks about connecting with the resources that are right for you, and cutting yourself into supply chains.

Making Your Mark With Marketing with Manuela Barcenas – April 16th 2020

Every manager needs a co-pilot, why not marketers too? If you’re asking that question, Manuela Barcenas, Marketing Fellow at wants to talk!

Manuela is a digital marketer at, a company building a platform that empowers managers and their teams to work better together. She joined the company in 2018 to lead Fellow’s marketing and grew the company’s reach to thousands of leaders in more than 50 countries through content marketing initiatives such as newsletters, articles, templates, videos, guest posts, and speaking at events.

On this week’s THRIVE Podcast, sponsored by the Business Development Bank of Canada and Scotiabank, Manuela shares some of the most important marketing lessons she’s learned in the process and how to build a thriving team.

Mental Clarity In Entrepreneurship with Terri Story – April 9th 2020

When the user experience is being optimized for everything in life, the mental health sector is a natural next step. Enter Terri Storey.

Terri Storey is a leader and visionary in the field of mental health with more than 20 years of experience. As CEO and Co-Founder of Snapclarity, Terri is revolutionizing the way mental health support is provided to those in need. Snapclarity is an online platform that uses intelligent matching technology to connect people with experienced mental health service providers and treatments that work.

Terri’s experience working on the front lines of mental health for more than two decades inspired the creation of Snapclarity. Previous to launching the innovative online platform, Terri founded Terrace Wellness Group, which includes Terrace Wellness Centre and Terrace Youth Residential Services (TYRS). TYRS is one of the largest treatment organizations in Ontario. Here, Terri has accepted some of the toughest cases of youth in crisis, many from Indigenous communities in the North.

“Instead of just creating Uber for mental health, we want to encourage early screening to optimize people’s experience in mental health.”

On this week’s THRIVE Podcast, sponsored by the Business Development Bank of Canada and Scotiabank, Terri talks about the importance of taking time for oneself as an entrepreneur, and living up to the standards you try to set for yourself and your staff.

HR for Startups with Jamie Hoobanoff – April 2nd 2020

Wondering how to recruit the right talent to rocket your business forwards? Then Jamie Hoobanoff wants to talk.

Jamie Hoobanoff is the Founder of The Leadership Agency, North America’s fastest-growing recruitment agency for the technology and start-up community. The Leadership Agency helps build the most impressive companies of our generation, all while disrupting the status quo and helping companies make their best hires. 

As HRD Canada’s Best Service Provider of 2019, The Leadership Agency focuses exclusively on sales, leadership, and IT recruitment for the fastest-growing startups in the world, including TouchBistro, Uberflip, SkipTheDishes, StackAdapt, Vena, Justworks, Knotel, Bizzabo, and O2E Brands – just to name a few. With over 15 years of experience working with North America’s most fascinating companies, Jamie has interviewed over 10,000 candidates and has placed an estimated 3,000 top tier leaders in the North American market. She is a trailblazer within the HR and recruitment space and continues to contribute her expertise to notable publications such as, CBC, The Globe and Mail, Inc. Magazine, and

“Whether you’re hiring your first leader, a coordinator, or a whole sales team, the stage of your growth doesn’t matter. I want you to know you’re not alone.”

On this week’s THRIVE Podcast, sponsored by the Business Development Bank of Canada and Scotiabank, Jamie talks about how to find the right talent for your business.

Never Giving Up with Shannon Ferguson – March 26th 2020

What’s the one thing you can control when you’re faced with incredible adversity? Your choice to stop or push through – and Shannon Ferguson, knows which one she’d pick every single day.

Shannon and her co-founder know the struggles sports teams and organizations face selling sponsorships when sponsors want to see how their dollars perform and engage with their brand, as well as who their sponsorship attracts into their business– and that’s exactly how FanSaves was born! Since then, FanSaves has been been a Top 100 Finalist at the Startup of the Year Competition in 2018 and 2019, Won the 2019 RC100 Startup Competition and received 1st Place at Get in the Ring Ottawa 2019, 1st Place at the CIC Pitchfest 2018, and 2nd Place at SaaS North 2018. 

“I don’t want women to ever give up – in life, or in business. Keep going, cross that bridge, keep swimming, because it will pay off.”

On this week’s THRIVE Podcast, sponsored by the Business Development Bank of Canada and Scotiabank, Shannon talks about never giving up and making the most of life’s hard lessons.

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